Starbucks Is Brewing Up A Massive Expansion Of Coffee Delivery

Want that almond-milk, decaf, pumpkin-spice latte delivered to your living room? By early 2019, Starbucks Coffee hopes to offer coffee delivery from about 2,000 company-operated U.S. locations.

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The chain has been testing delivery options and will partner with Uber Eats for the planned expansion.

While many of us may think of Starbucks as a place to order your coffee drink from a barista and stay awhile, nontraditional orders are growing, which may make the company feel delivery is its next step.  

In fiscal 2018, just 51 percent of U.S. orders were placed the traditional way, from a barista at a Starbucks location, compared to 61 percent in fiscal 2016, Business Insider reports. Drive-through orders jumped from 34 to 37 percent and mobile orders from 5 to 12 percent over the same two-year period.

Starbucks chief operating officer Rosalind Brewer, who has the perfect name to work at a coffee company, said the delivery testing had received good reviews, and that the company hoped the expansion would roll out in late March or early April, Nation's Restaurant News reported.

Some fans who reacted to the news on social media seemed pretty buzzed about it.

But others thought the details could be tough to work out.

The U.S. Starbucks delivery program will be modeled on how the company has handled it in China, where a subsidiary of Chinese company Alibaba handles delivery from more than 2,000 locations in 30 Chinese cities, the Seattle Times reports.

It may seem like a cup of coffee is tougher to deliver than a pizza or sandwich, but the chain has been working on improving the process. Lessons the chain learned in China include using spill-proof lids, tamper-proof packaging seals, insulated delivery containers, training for drivers and algorithms that route orders to the best location to handle them, the Times reports. While you wait for Starbucks delivery to become a reality, check out 14 caffeine-free Starbucks secret menu holiday drinks.